- Please keep these annotations SPOILER-FREE by not revealing information from later pages in the novel.
Las Animas-Huerfano Delegation of the Industrial Defense Alliance
Las Animas and Huerfano Counties, in southeastern/south-central Colorado, are the site of the southern Colorado coalfields, ground of the bloody 1913-14 Colorado Coal Strike. Cf page 976: the coalfield troubles in southern Colorado.
Their foolish music is about to stop
Vibe using the same image as Professor Sleepcoat, but from a different angle.
perfect ten-acre mesh
Mutilation of the land by imposition of straight lines on it.
Cars suspended from overhead cables, or the system of cables.
Trinidad . . . the Trinidad field
Trinidad, Colorado is the county seat of Las Animas County and lies at the eastern edge of the Trinidad coal field. Trinidad is the Spanish word for Trinity.
the strikers, who were Greeks and Bulgarians, Serbs and Croats, Montenegrins and Italians
The union of workers manning the 1913–14 Colorado Coal Strike "was largely immigrant labor from Southern and Eastern Europe, who had been brought in as strikebreakers in 1903 [cf. ATD, 1009.9–12]. . . . In 1912, 61% of Colorado's coal miners were of 'non-Western origin.' . . . [This] resulted in the strike and its violence being seen largely as a a result of Greek and Balkan culture, rather than the conditions in the Southern Colorado Coalfields." From the account of "Coal War History" provided by the Colorado Coal Field War Project.
all busy killin each other over some snarled-up politics way beyond any easy understanding
No reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.
the whole history of those Balkan peoples is revenge, back and forth, families against families, and it never ends
Again, no reference to the present day is intended or should be inferred.
"Centerpiece of Trinidad Since 1879"
Established around 1910. By 2004 "one of historic Trinidad's most famous but most dilapidated buildings"
Mary Harris Jones (1830-1930), labor organizer and advocate. A speech she made in Trinidad climaxed with: "Rise up and strike . . . strike until the last one of you drop into your graves. We are going to stand together and never surrender. Boys, always remember you ain't got a damn thing if you ain't got a union!"
the C.F.I. office
Colorado Fuel and Iron; The Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) steel mill on the south side of town was the main industry in Pueblo, Colorado for most of its history. Over the course of its history, the company has had several major labor disputes. The most famous of these culminated in the famous Ludlow Massacre at one of its coal mines in 1914; Wikipedia entry
...a halo or glory out of which anything might emerge...
A glory is an optical phenomenon produced by light backscattered (a combination of diffraction, reflection and refraction) towards its source by a cloud of uniformly-sized water droplets. A glory has multiple colored rings. The angular size is much smaller than a rainbow, about 5° to 20°, depending on the size of the droplets, seen in the direction opposite the sun . The description here recalls the "somehow blazingly illuminated spaces" in Penhallow's paintings (P. 897). (Glories are often seen in association with a Brocken spectre, the apparently enormously magnified shadow of an observer cast, when the Sun is low, upon the upper surfaces of clouds that are below the mountain upon which he stands; In GR Tyrone Slothrop experiences this phenomenon atop Mt. Greylock in Massachusetts).
John Chase . . . General
Commanding state militia in the coal war; here is a summary of atrocities committed by his force. And here is a photo.
Colorado and Southern
Railway line, consolidated in 1898, running directly north-south from Wendover, Wyoming, through Denver to Trinidad, and then southeast to Dallas/Fort Worth.
an inestimable edge both tactical and psychological
The military, acting on behalf of the plutocrats, use a less-advanced form of the Interdikt weapon: light.
darkness . . . compassion
Respite from the attack.
Bogus arrest for vagrancy, a strikebreaking tactic.
the Baldwin-Felts "detective" agency
Run from Bluefield, West Virginia, the company acted outside the law on behalf of industrialists until federal law banned the use of such private armies. Significantly, its records were destroyed when the agency went out of business in 1930.
With a rifle it's too personal
As the 20th century progressed, first the machine gun, as described here, later high-altitude bombing, later nuclear-tipped missiles, provided increasingly impersonal, and therefore easier, means of killing, one factor adduced to explain the increasing toll of violence. Perhaps another paramorphic mirror image of the early 21st century, which has seen the advent of the suicide attacker and purposeful attacks on unengaged noncombatants.
City along the Front Range south of Denver and Colorado Springs, where the Arkansas River exits its canyon, the first large city north of the coalfields and site of the huge CF&I steel plant. Pronounced "Pee-eb-low" by locals.
the 29 Luglio Saloon
Italian: July 29, anniversary of King Umberto I's assassination (1900); see link in next entry.
Bresci . . . King Umberto . . .
Cf page 739: Bresci.
. . . fallen somehow off a supply wagon . . .
A Krag-Jørgensen repeating bolt-action rife, Norwegian-designed--the primary rifle used by the U.S. military from 1894 to 1903.
Balkan folks . . . their Easter or somethin
In 1914, Orthodox Easter fell on April 19 in the western calendar. Chase's final attack began the morning of the 20th.
Paramorphically speaking, April 19-20 is a busy day for fire and explosion:
- Battle of Lexington and Concord: the "shot heard round the world" opening the American Revolutionary War (19th, 1775)
- The above is why Patriot's Day started as April 19 in Massachusetts, legendarily the anniversary of Paul Revere's Midnight 4/18-19 ride.
- Beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars (20th, 1792)
- Hitler's birthday (20th, 1889)
- Destruction of Toronto by fire (19th, 1904)
- Beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising (19th, 1943)
- Failure of the Bay of Pigs raid (19th, 1961)
- Explosion of a gun turret on USS Iowa (19th, 1989)
- Branch Davidian compound fire (19th, 1993)
- Oklahoma City bombing (19th, 1995)
- Columbine High School shootings and heaviest US bombing of Kossovo (20th, 1999)
- The fiery end of the sign of Aries, ruled by Mars, God of War
- And in AtD the Ludlow Massacre (20th, 1914)
all fell on these two days. For more, type the date in Wikipedia's search window.
Lt. Karl Linderfelt, commander of one of two National Guard companies that patrolled and harassed the Ludlow Tent Colony, and an overseer of the gunfire that rained down on it on April 20, 1914. He had developed, in the period immediately preceding the strike, a hatred for the strike's main organizer, Louis Tikas, and killed him on April 20 by bashing him in the head with a rifle so hard that the rifle-stock broke. He then told Tikas and other captive strikers to run for their lives and shot them all in the back. Here are two photos of Linderfelt (scroll far right, past the photo of John Chase).
mercenaries called themselves "the American Legion"
Not that American Legion. These soldiers of fortune enlisted under Pancho Villa. This web site has numerous pictures of them.
Ku Klux Klan
Colorado was a stronghold of the KKK into the 1920s. As late as the 1980s there was sporadic Klan activity around Colorado Springs, then attributed to groups at nearby Fort Carson. But the area was also a site of the militant right wing Posse Comitatus movement.
Possibly named after Saint Brice.
the Black Hills
An outcropping of low hills to the east of the Ludlow Tent Colony, where miners and their families fled for refuge after the massacre.
The Light Over the Ranges
Against the Day
Rue du Départ